Local umpires net fresh insight

Referees are a key part of sports
and umpires are critical in netball.

A training seminar last weekend
sought to increase the level of umpiring and in turn the sport.

Some 10 residents took part in the
International Federation of Netball Associations netball umpire course in George Town.

Leading the course was
international tester Yvette Smith, who hails from Jamaica and doubles as Vice
President of the Jamaica Netball Association.  

Put on by the Cayman Islands
Netball Association, the course focused on the theoretical aspects of the
sport, culminating in a theory exam on Sunday.

A practical refresher was also
included in the course and that took place at the netball courts of the Truman
Bodden Sports Complex Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Results of the theory exam are
slated to be submitted to the local association at a later date. Those that
pass the theory portion of the exam are then eligible to take the practical
exam later this year.

The umpire exam has been held by
Smith the last two years and attracted about 18 to 20 people. Last year three
residents passed the theoretical exam.

Most of the participants last
weekend were local teachers and members of the local association.

 One of those was Faye Green, who represents
Unity netball club. Green felt the course helped her learn new things.

“It was very good,” Green said. “It
was challenging at times but ultimately very helpful. I learned a lot about
what to call and when to call it as an umpire. In particular I was taught how
to call free passes and deal with injuries and time-outs.

“One of the things in the game that
was clarified for me was the roles of the Wing Defense and the Wing Attack and
how the length of the court impacts their play.”

On the whole the local association
is pleased with the course and the feedback from locals. As association
president Lucille Seymour states it is all about having more certified officials
on hand.

“Mrs. Smith has been coming to Cayman
working with and training umpires for years. The local netball association will
continue to have her train umpires and coaches to increase the umpire pool in
Cayman and improve the standards of umpiring and netball.”